Day on Campus
The Day on Campus program promotes college as an attainable goal for youth from schools in and around Whittier, California. Sponsored by a BCM Foundation grant, Day on Campus is led by Whittier College graduates and undergraduates selected for the BCM Scholars Team. To develop early interest in college, preference for participation goes to classes in the upper elementary and middle-school grades (although there have been instances in which older or younger students have participated). Each fall semester the BCM Scholars host two Days on Campus as well as a third Day on Campus in the spring semester. Each Day on Campus is focused on only one class, or a similar sized group of students. This helps to create a personal and meaningful experience for the students involved.
Before the students visit Whittier College, the BCM Scholars exchange personal letters with each visiting student to answer questions about college and to begin building meaningful and trusting relationships. The Scholars also make a trip to the visitors’ school and classroom to meet the students and to begin to get them thinking about college through interactive activities. These activities vary with each class and are often adapted or chosen to specifically fit the needs and interests of the students who are being served. During these activities, the BCM Scholars often share stories of their personal journey to college, which helps the visiting students to see that they can relate. The BCM Scholars make another trip to the visitors’ classroom after the Day on Campus to recap the experience and to go over more information about college.
When the students visit Whittier College for their Day on Campus, they are not merely getting a college tour. A Day on Campus is meant to show the visiting students what a day in the life of a college student is actually like, and to give them the chance to visualize themselves there in the future. The students break up into smaller groups led by a few BCM Scholars. They sit in and participate in actual classes, talk with faculty and other college students, tour the dorm rooms, libraries, athletic facilities, and other areas of campus, and eat lunch in the dining hall with the BCM Scholars and other college students. Just as the trips to the visitors’ class are tailored to meet the needs and interests of each group of students, so is each Day on Campus. As the BCM Scholars plan each Day on Campus, they are consciously aware of the characteristics of the group they are planning for. Every Day on Campus is unique and crafted specifically for the group of students who are participating.